Written by Areej Hassan
BSc (Hons) Games Software Engineering
Hi everyone! It’s Areej again, a games software engineering student from Egypt. Today I will be comparing study skills. This is all from my personal experience, and based on my opinions about this topic. I will be listing some of the different study skills I’ve used, and whether or not my experience with them has been different during my time in the UK as opposed to Egypt.
Note Taking: VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments)
I have problems with concentration, so I always needed to keep notes of everything my teachers wrote and said in Egypt. I would often miss some points or have to ask my friends for their notes if I was absent (especially during IGCSEs and A levels where we had no text books.) Universities and even schools in the UK have VLEs, where you can find the lecturers’ notes, email your lecturers, take tests, look up books in the library, and find learning/study support information. Bournemouth University’s current VLE is called Brightspace. I get sick often and end up being absent, so having everything that my lecturers talk about available to me from home is quite helpful.
Time Management: Similar Strategies
I’ve written study schedules for exams in Egypt and schedules for assignments in the UK. I can confidently say that these are exactly the same thing. One tip I have for you all is to be realistic when writing schedules. To be honest, I am a lazy person. I know I am. That’s why I like to be realistic when it comes to writing down a schedule. If I have a huge assignment to submit, I don’t trick myself into thinking I can work twelve hours a day. I find it far easier to just divide the assignment into key parts and give myself a realistic deadline for each section based on how much time I think it will take me.
Reading: Reading Week
One thing I love about University in the UK is how much they encourage further reading. Lecturers give you all the information you need to pass tests and do assignments, however, they also recommend books or chapters for you to read for further knowledge about topics. I personally prefer doing my own research and looking things up instead of reading books (especially considering my course), but I still appreciate how much further reading is emphasised. There is even a whole week off dedicated to reading. From my experiences in Egypt, text books are the only books we are encouraged to read for the most part, so this is new to me.
Planning and writing essays and reports
This was a culture shock for me. I haven’t had to write an essay, a report, or even an assignment (aside from school homework which didn’t affect my grades) until I started University. However, I am pretty sure it is the same in both countries (from my friends’ experiences.) To my surprise, I really enjoyed the assignments where I wrote down designs for the games I had to make, and crossing out things on the huge checklist of features I had to add to my games. I normally can’t start a project before deciding on all the elements and features I want in it. On the other hand, I genuinely hate writing essays. I basically have 1 tip for writing essays and that is: REFERENCE EVERYTHING.
I think what differentiates study skills in the UK and Egypt is the technology. The UK has VLEs, more learning support and the encouragement of further reading (not just in reading week.)